User's Guide

Which Fall Tastings Are Worthwhile?

Photo: Jed Egan

Fall is our favorite season in New York, in no small part because of the numerous tasting events to attend. We’ve compiled a list of the ones we’d like to hit, if only we had more time and money. Find the right event for you from among sweet and savory tastings, wine-soaked presentations, and happenings for the whole family. Bulk up for winter!

Event: Grand Central Oyster Frenzy
When: October 3, noon to 6 p.m.
Where: Grand Central Oyster Bar
How Much: Oysters start at $2 apiece, and beer at $5.75. A special “Frenzy Menu” is priced à la carte.
Why It’s Worth It: Watch professionals tear through bivalves in the “professional oyster shucking championships,” followed by a competitive “slurp off” by amateurs. Top Chef alum Fabio Trabocchi will do a demo.

Event: Chile Pepper Fiesta
When: October 3, noon
Where: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
How Much: Free with admission ($8 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, and free for children under 12).
Why It’s Worth It: See how chefs from different culinary traditions make use of the chile pepper, including Corwin Kave of Fatty Crab and Rick and Michael Mast of Mast Brothers Chocolate.

Event: Fort Greene Park Conservancy Portfolio Wine Tasting Fundraiser
When: October 5, 6 p.m.
Where: Irondale Center, 85 S. Oxford St., nr. Lafayette Ave., Fort Greene, Brooklyn
How Much: General admission is $80 in advance or $90 at the door; $150 for VIP access.
Why It’s Worth It: Taste over 100 international wines paired with cheese, charcuterie, and hors d’oeuvres. VIPs take a wine-tasting class and get “priorty access” (line-cutting?) to the wines.

Event: New York City Wine and Food Festival
When: October 8–11
Where: Meatpacking district
How Much: Some events are as little as $10; the Grand Tastings are $150. Purchase tickets here.
Why It’s Worth It: Most of the big-ticket items are sold out, but you can still snag spots to events like the Grand Tastings, My First Crush: Make Your Own Wine ($110), Charcuterie 101 ($45), or Murray’s Cheese and Olive Oil Tasting ($75).

Event: Columbus Day Wine Down
When: October 12, 6 p.m.
Where: Astra, 979 Third Ave., fourteenth floor
How Much: Tickets are $50 in advance, no tickets sold at the door. Use discount code MERLOT to get $10 off.
Why It’s Worth It: The event will feature American wines from both traditional wine-producing regions and some up-and-coming areas. Food is supervised by Charlie Palmer.

Event: City Harvest Bid Against Hunger
When: October 20, 7 p.m.
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St.
How Much: Tickets for this tasting and fund-raiser start at $250 and go as high as $500 for VIP access.
Why It’s Worth It: This is one of the city’s premier tasting events. Participating restaurants include Convivio, Blue Hill, and Le Bernardin.

Event: Brooklyn Eats
When: October 27, 6 p.m.
Where: Stage 6 at Steiner Studios, 15 Washington Ave., Brooklyn Navy Yard
How Much: Tickets are $110 in advance and $125 at the door.
Why It’s Worth It: Sample food from all over the borough, including Buttermilk Channel and Bussaco.

Event: Zachys Annual Fall Food & Wine Extravaganza
When: October 27, 6 p.m.
Where: The Lighthouse, Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers
How Much: $95. Call 800-723-0241 or e-mail your ticket request.
Why It’s Worth It: A Scarsdale wine store brings together more than 75 winemakers, including Fonseca, Taittinger, and Silver Oak.

Event: Taste of Greenmarket
When: October 28, 7 p.m.
Where: Studio 450, 450 W. 31st St.
How Much: Buy general-admission tickets for $150 in advance, or $175 at the door; get in an hour early with VIP tickets for $300.
Why It’s Worth It: Greenmarket-inspired dishes prepared by April Bloomfield, Aaron Sanchez, Dan Barber, and Marcus Samuelsson.

Event: The Chocolate Show
When: October 30–November 1
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St.
How Much: Buy tickets for $28 in advance or $30 at the door. Kids under 5 are free, and up to two kids ages 5 to 12 can enter with one adult. Any additional child is $8.
Why It’s Worth It: This is a rare trade show that’s open to the public. See and sample chocolate from all over the world.

Event: New York Taste
When: November 2, 7 p.m.
Where: Skylight, 275 Hudson St.
How Much: Buy general-admission tickets for $175, or $250 for the VIP preview.
Why It’s Worth It: New York’s annual event will include food from Aldea, Corton, Marea, Locanda Verde, and many more. View a slideshow of last year’s spread.

Event: Cook. Eat. Drink. Live.
When: November 6–8
Where: The Tunnel/La Venue, 608 W. 28th St.
How Much: Buy general-admission tickets for $65.
Why It’s Worth It: Joey Campanaro, Eric Hara, Bill Telepan, Ted Allen, and several other name chefs will do demos. Try samples from SD26, Rouge Tomate, BiCE, and many more.

Which Fall Tastings Are Worthwhile?